Botanical Name: Solidago spp.
Other Common Names: Goldenrod
Brief Description and Notes: There are many species of Solidago, and about 60 of them are native to Eastern North America. They provide a stunning late summer-fall display of gold. They are also highly medicinal. Many people consider certain species to be “invasive” or weedy since they can spread quickly through rhizomes; thus, they aren’t often chosen for domesticated gardens. For the most part they take the form of long, sometimes lanky stems with plumes of small yellow flowers, almost like fireworks.
Where To Look For It: Thickets, prairies, road sides, edges of woods/clearings in woods; almost everywhere. Typically they prefer full sun to part-shade, with the exception of species like Solidago flexicaulis who can tolerate full shade.
Ornamental Value: Beautiful late summer/fall color
Ecological Value & Roles: Excellent source of late-season food for wildlife, especially pollinators like bees and butterflies
Edibility and Other Human Use: Flowers are edible and can be used as pretty garnishes. Flowers and leaves make a good medicinal tea (indications include for urinary system, digestive system, wounds, allergies, and more). Leaves can be cooked and used in soups, as a spinach replacement, and various other ways.